“I want to emphasize that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational.” — President Barack Obama, May 2009
“These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency…. The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.” — Major General Antonio Taguba, May 2009
It doesn’t appear that both of these statements can be true. So who’s the liar?
|UPDATE, 5/30/2009: It turns out that the answer, narrowly, is “neither.”
Notice that President Obama refers to “these photos” as not being “particularly sensational.” He is referring to only the 44 photos the ACLU is suing to have released. There are thousands of other photos, photos which apparently do show all the things Taguba describes.
Taguba has now said he was referring to a different set of photographs than the photos Obama is attempting to supress in the ACLU case.
But attend carefully to what is and is not being said. This does not mean that Obama is not trying to suppress thousands of other photos. It only means that the 44 photos in the particular ACLU case may not, if Barack Obama is telling the truth, be “particularly sensational.” It would mean that the “particularly sensational photos” are of a different set.